responsible tourism in sri lanka

At Paragon Holidays we are committed to a company-wide, socially responsible policy addressing pressing environmental, educational and public health needs in all the regions where we operate. Our focus is on initiatives that offer the opportunity for Paragon clients to become personally involved. We will not only make a difference in the lives of some people around Sri Lanka, but also reinforce the reputation of being the travel provider of choice for people who are committed to learning about the regions they visit and wish to support and assist projects in these regions, giving back to the areas they visit. Please write to us for more information and suggestions.

We have realised as a Luxury Company that “doing good” and giving back to the local communities is much more rewarding than flashy frills that add little to a warm glow of satisfaction

our policies

  • Whenever is possible, we try to encourage small groups of tourists (up to 8 persons usually) that have a smaller impact on the environment and on the communities we visit;

  • We work on awareness with our drivers to reduce the emissions of the vehicles and – whenever is possible – promote the usage of hybrid vehicles;

  • Most of our tours are focused on the discovering of a new culture and interaction with the local people, their villages, their culture and food. We promote unique village experiences off the beaten track, to make you enjoy your holidays as a real local;

  • Most of the accommodation options chosen have not many rooms and are built with sustainable architectural criteria. For our Eco, Wildlife and Rural tours we offer a wide range of Eco-lodges. Also, our luxury experiences are more focused on small boutique hotels rather than big mass tourism hotel chains;

  • At Paragon Holidays we value our Chauffeurs and our Guides and pay them above average, and we pay them in advance, which is far more than can be said about most of our competitors. 

our commitment

We promote - together with other local partners, international and local non profit organisations - unique community and village experiences.
Some of these itineraries are different and will show you the real lifestyle of rural people, their homes and habits.
You will be able to share moments with them and, if you wish, learn to cook traditional food in their kitchen. Once you are there, you might be concerned about the living conditions of some families.

Please AVOID giving money or other materials (such as pens etc. to the children) to the families or individuals, as it is not a sustainable practice (charity vs. development) and it is not good for their self-esteem. We work closely with local and international non profit organisations and farmers societies – of which these families are official members – that know how to manage donations through the community development strategy and benefit the whole local community.

 Some of these donations can benefit the following activities:
• Support to organic agriculture and tools, to help the families to be more independent and not be exposed to chemical and dangerous fertilisers and pesticides that are very harmful for their health. 
• Provide a microcredit common fund for loans within the community, to improve their houses or to buy agricultural tools, land or to invest on their children education.

Instead of donating, you can also buy some of their products, directly from them and take them as a souvenir, such as:
• Organic and traditional Rice;
• Chemical free local Spices from the Kandy and Matale hills;
• Handicrafts.

By purchasing these products, you will support the families and help to increase their income. Remember that Sri Lanka has one of the highest literacy rates in the world and – differently from other countries of the Asian region - education is a right of every child, guaranteed by the Sri Lankan State. However, funds for specific educational programs are most welcomed, but must be coordinated with institutions dedicated to that.